Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another update! “What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. 

What I'm Reading: Still working my way through Think Like a Rock Star, and still loving it. I'm trying to decide if I'll be able to pick up anything else before Siege and Storm is released (eeeee!). Probably will. We'll see.

What I'm Writing: Still where I was on this last week. I'm hoping that I'll finally have some time to write either Sunday or Monday.

What Else I've Been Up To: I'm in the throes of being a new homeowner and there is so much going on. We've been getting the electrical updated, which has taken longer than expected. I'll be over at the house tonight or tomorrow cleaning and polishing the floors. Then, we move in on Saturday! I'm ready to get in and get settled.

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another update! “What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. 

What I'm Reading: I just finished Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall. Though I'm way late reading it, I will be doing a review. I really loved this book, so I'm glad I picked it up. I also just started Think Like a Rock Star, which is about turning followers into fans. If you have any interest in social media and how to engage (and if you're all aspiring authors like me, then you should!) I highly recommend it. Good for marketers too (you know, my day job).

What I'm Writing: Not. I've been really busy and haven't been able to touch my WIP. I'm hoping to get back into it soon. And here's why...

What Else I've Been Up To: WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! Sorry for the caps, but I think they're warranted. We closed last Thursday, and we're doing some electrical work tomorrow before we can move in. This has been a whirlwind of the past five weeks. We were not planning to become home owners, but here we are!

Unfortunately, our amazingly fabulous REALTOR got accused of photo-bombing. His child's presence resulted in this conversation with my mother-in-law:

And, of course, Frankie had to check out the house. His opinion remains undecided.

What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

CumpleaƱos del Frankie!

Yeah yeah, Cinco de Mayo, margaritas, all that fun stuff. But today I celebrate my favorite part-hispanic pupster: Frankie Chewbacca the Chiweenie. You've probably seen Frankie around the blog--in special appearance photos, on the Official Seal of General Badassery, hanging out in the left sidebar. If you follow me on instagram, you've seen enough Frankie to last a lifetime scratch the surface of fulfilling your need for my chiweenie in your life.

Today, Frankie is two! Here's to Frankie!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

I'm joining in for today's What's Up Wednesday--created by two of my favorite YA friends, Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. I've been looking for a nice, easy weekly post--and I think I've found one here. Also, I love the image they created.

What I'm Reading: I just finished Taken by Erin Bowman, and really enjoyed it. In a break from my typical YA science fiction and/or fantasy trend, I'm reading a graphic novel called Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. A co-worker lent it to me, and while it's very different from what I typically get into, I've been enjoying it. It's nice to step outside of what I both read and write--gives me perspective.

What I'm Writing: I'm still working on my NaNoWriMo rewrite--which I'm currently calling Stars & Stripes. I've reworked the re-written beginning and think I love it. Now I'm back to the actual writing part. My family trip this weekend gave me a lot of fodder for interesting dialogue, which I've been taking advantage of.

What Inspires Me Right Now: This song, by Mumford & Sons. It's completely changed the course of my WIP.

What Else I've Been Up To: I mentioned that house hunting thing a couple of weeks ago and am hoping to have some good news next Thursday, so that's been taking up a lot of brain time. I also spent the weekend (like I said above) with family at a wedding in Spokane, Washington, and we had a blast! Good food, good friends, good times. Oh! And last night my department one a local Parthenon award for a social media campaign.

What have you been up to lately?

Badass Books: Taken

I have been waiting for Taken for a long time. I was excited to finally read it, and now I'm more excited to talk about it (I'd say share it with you, but I'm guessing a lot of you read it this month as well). So, let's dive right in.

Look at that beautiful cover!
Summary (From Erin's website)

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Why I read it: So many reasons. First: Erin Bowman is the bomb dot com. I've followed Erin on Twitter and on her blog for a little over a year now--one of the late to the party people in this lovely YA community that I call home. I followed her before I even realized she was agented or slated to be published or any of it. When I finally figured it out, I couldn't wait to not only read it but to be a cheerleader and a pusher of her book. So here I am--pushing. It's also the YA Book Club read this month! As always, spoilers in white.

ZOMG Yes!  I loved the start of this book--the way Erin described the world. How she was able to tie me (as a reader in a technological society) to the town of Claysoot. Then I really  loved how she described the technological world that Gray got thrown into. His reactions felt very honest and real. I also loved the pace of this book. I read it on the plane this weekend on my way to my cousin's wedding, and I tore through it. I can easily see this becoming the next big YA movie or TV show.

More than all that--I loved the characters in this story. I liked reading a YA novel from a boy's perspective, and I liked how the women were described through his eyes. So many strong females in this book! Bree is by far my favorite, and I can't wait to see what happens with the sequel! Spoiler: (In other words--I'm team Bree. I think Emma should end up with Blaine.)

This one was also one of the books on my Debut Author Challenge list!

kthxbai I would put this book up there with The Hunger Games as far as dystopians go--just with a boy in the lead. So if you like dystopians, you should definitely pick up Taken, and then tell everyone you know about it. :)

What did you think? Did you read Taken this month? Leave a link in the comments!